Cahors wine

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For the wine grape also known as Cahors, see Jurançon (grape).
Vineyards of Château du Cèdre near Cahors
A vineyard in Cahors

Cahors (pronounced: [ka.ɔʁ]) is a red wine from grapes grown in or around the town of Cahors, France. Cahors is an Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) which forms part of the South West France wine region. The dominant grape variety in AOC Cahors wines is Malbec, which must make up a minimum of 70% of the wine, and which is known locally as "Côt", "Côt Noir" or "Auxerrois". It is supplemented by up to 30% Merlot and Tannat.

There are 4,200 hectares (10,000 acres) of Cahors vineyards, with at planting density of at least 4000 vines per ha.

The designation AOC Cahors may only be used for red wines. There is also some white and rosé wine produced in the same area, and it is sold under the designation Vin de Pays du Lot instead.


A Cahors wine.

The history of wine Cahors winemaking go back to the era of Ancient Rome, with vines being planted in the area around 50 BC. Since that time, the vines have remained in the land of Quercy and their history has been combined with that of the region.

Typical building and winery of the Cahors region (Château Haut-Monplaisir)

Similar to many other winemaking regions, Cahors was hit badly by The Great French Wine Blight in the late 19th century, when the vines were attacked in the phylloxera epidemic. In the case of Cahors, this happened in 1883-1885.

In February 1956, Cahors was hit by frosts which wiped out almost all the vineyards of the region, which thus needed to be replanted en masse. In this replanting, Malbec became more dominant than it had been before. Cahors was awarded AOC status in 1971.